Nike Did What Other Companies Should, But Haven't Done
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Nike Did What Other Companies Should, But Haven't

With their words but not with their actions.


On Monday, September 3rd Nike revealed their 30th anniversary "Just Do It" campaign starring Colin Kaepernick. For those who have forgotten or don't know who Colin Kaepernick is, he is a former 49ers quarterback who made the conscious decision not to stand for the national anthem in 2016 in order to make a statement about police brutality and racial injustice.

Nike referenced Kaepernicks lawsuit against the NFL as they allegedly attempted to remove him from the league in response to his political protest by putting the statement "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything" on his face in this campaign.

Nike, whose customers tend to be on the younger side and are quite diverse, has launched controversial campaigns targeting social issues about its athletes before. For example, one ad displayed a photo of Serena Williams with the slogan "Girls from Compton don't play tennis. They own it."

Nike continues its trend of using its large and diverse social platform to market their products as well as make political statements with Kaepernick's ad. This is a step that more companies with large social media presences should take. Whether your opinions on Kaepernick's statement are positive or negative, a campaign such as this one sparks dialogue which is the first step to solving the racial issues we are facing as a nation.

While some may say this was an extremely risky move for Nike to make, it seemed to pay off seeing that Nike made $43 million dollars from all the attention they received on social media. While some of the attention has been negative, resulting in customers burning their Nike products and using the hashtag NikeBoycott, studies have shown that the majority of the reactions were positive.

In addition to being a political statement, this campaign was also a business one. Therefore, while one cannot say that Nike's intentions were completely altruistic since they have made a significant profit off this statement, the proclamation was still made and still has an effect on the debate surrounding this issue which is prevalent in our society today.

Although the statement itself sparks an important debate, Nike's intentions, which are questionable, cannot be set aside especially because of their controversial track record. Nike has constantly been under the spotlight for their mistreatment of their workers and has been accused of human trafficking.

Therefore it is important to realize that while Nike used their power of social media, in a way that not many companies would, in order to shed light upon social injustice, they themselves have mistreated their workers. They have therefore contributed to the social issue of human trafficking and employee exploitation. Ironic isn't it?

Social media has become such a central part of the debates surrounding social justice issues within our society. Those who have large media presences should use this power to spark these debates. While brands like Nike and Addidas main goal on social media is to sell their products they can do so much more, as seen by Nike's newest campaign.

It is especially important for companies that target a large and diverse population of people who would not normally be so easily reached by social media to use that to their advantage to reach those people and further a debate such as racial injustice or women's rights. But it is also important to hold those companies actions in addition to their words accountable to the regulations of social justice.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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